Friday, July 29, 2011

Victory Will Be Mine...Again?!!

Tenie's aunt really was a life saver. I have a funny feeling that the website that she gave me and I posted earlier is going to come in handy. That makes me a bit nervous about moving to Scotland because it makes me wonder how much fighting we're going to have to do just in order to enjoy basic daily living. You're probably confused-let me explain.
Remember how I had explored the avenue of personal trainer? One of the schools emailed me back today-the one I told was blind-and they basically told me they couldn't take me on because of it. They didn't ask any questions as to my skills or my needs. They just decided that because I said I may need a bit more hands-on training that they were not equipped to take me on. It really shouldn't matter what my skills are or how capable I am in the sporting/fitness/personal training arena, there should be an equal opportunity available to learn; regardless of able-bodiedness or disability.
So, I sent the company that link and explained that a new law was past in October of 2010 that stated it is illegal to deny a person access to learning facilities based on disability. I was polite and said that I wasn't trying to be confrontational. I'm really not trying to be. Maybe they just don't know, but something needs to be done about that. Are these two experiences indicative of the life Mr. K and I are going to be living in Edinburgh? If so, this is going to become exhausting really quickly. On the other hand, we'll have a good support network and it would seem that some people need to be made aware of the abilities of disabled people. I have mixed views on educating the public. Some days I am all ready to go and other days I resent the fact that I can't eat the sandwich without having to explain to someone that "yes, in fact, I can shave my own legs." You should hear some of the questions I get! But that is neither here nor there. The fact of the matter is, I have had to use the Equality and Human Rights website twice in a ten hour period. All I can say is that I am just grateful that I have it; it changes everything.
Thank you Tenie's Aunt. :)


L^2 said...

I hate to say it, but judging by how many people there in North America who don't seem to know or respect the rights of people with disabilities, I wouldn't expect it to be a whole lot better anywhere else.
I don't know much about the laws in Canada, but in the U.S. the Americans with Disabilities Act just celebrated it's twenty-first birthday. And yet 21 years after these laws went into effect, thousands, if not millions of Americans every day are still denied their rights by landlords, business owners, schools, medical professionals, and government employees who don't know or understand these laws. Unfortunately, if Scotland's new anti-discrimination laws were just passed 10 months ago, I would have to assume that the battle for equality is going be even more challenging, because it's so new for them.
I sincerely hope this does not end up being the case for you though, because you're right, it is incredibly exhausting to constantly have to deal with this stuff every day. I'm glad you have that website to help you out when you need it.

Jess and Glacier said...

I know what you mean. Canada's Access Laws were passed a bit before the States', but people are still ignorant there too. I guess the UK has had anti-discrimination laws before, but they were disorganized and all over the place. These amendments are supposed to make things more stream lined and clearer and I suppose more enforceable. Oh well-someone's gotta make change right? ;)

Torie said...

Jess even though the flat doesn't allow pets, guide dogs are usually exempt. It really is bad that you were discriminated against. Surely the landlord would have known about the guide dogs well befpre you were due to go?

And as for the personal training thing, why can't you do it? Things should settle down a bit once you get there though, I hope!